2018 Sustainability Report

Compensation & Benefits

Offering competitive wages and benefits is key to attracting and retaining top talent.

Investing in Competitive Wages and Benefits

We work to ensure that team members receive fair compensation commensurate to their experience and skills, as well as competitive compensation within the local labor markets. As a result, our compensation program varies by market and by position, allowing us to provide a competitive total rewards package.

Many of our team members are compensated at an hourly rate for production or maintenance work in our processing plants. We’ve made improvements in pay and benefits while also creating new employee relations enhancements that differentiate us from competition and align with our effort to create the most desirable workplace possible. Our Compensation Department regularly conducts wage surveys and reviews cost-of-living indicators and community norms. In FY2018, the average hourly pay rate for our U.S. team members was $14.96. In February 2018, we awarded bonuses ranging from $500 to $1,000 to more than 100,000 team members as a result of company savings due to federal tax reform. Full-time team members who did not receive an annual bonus received $1,000 and part-time team members received $500.

We are continuously researching and developing driver-focused pay programs to grow and develop our fleet, as well as combat the driver shortage impacting the industry. We utilize various pay programs to incentivize our drivers to optimize their mileage and stay safe on the roads.

For the first time in 2018, in accordance with a new Securities and Exchange Commission rule, Tyson disclosed the ratio of our CEO’s annual total compensation for the fiscal year to the median of the annual total compensation of U.S. team members. The ratio of total annual compensation for President and CEO Tom Hayes, who served until September 2018, to the median amount for U.S. team members was approximately 256:1. Because the SEC’s rules for calculating this ratio allow companies to adopt a variety of methodologies, apply certain exclusions, and make reasonable estimates and assumptions, the pay ratio reported by other companies may not be comparable to our pay ratio. 

an employee holds some files and smiles

Expansions at our distribution centers in Pottsville, Pennsylvania and Macon, Georgia as well as a new distribution center in Denton, Texas, will add more than 300 jobs to local communities in the coming years.


We are dedicated to providing our team members and families with affordable health, life, dental, vision and prescription drug benefits. In fact, we require all regular, full-time team members who have completed 59 days of employment to have health care coverage through either the company-sponsored health plan or through a family member’s plan. This means that 100 percent of Tyson’s eligible team members have access to health care coverage.

Other benefits include paid vacations and holidays, eligibility to participate in a 401(k) retirement savings program and an employee stock purchase program, short- and long-term disability coverage and educational assistance. We also offer an employee assistance program through which team members can speak confidentially with a licensed professional counselor who can provide short-term help with concerns that may impact mental well-being, such as addiction, anxiety disorders, depression, stress and other emotional health issues. This program is offered at no cost to eligible team members, their spouses, dependent children, parents and parents-in-law.

We invested in several benefit improvements during 2018 that included a new program through Rethink that supports families covered by the Tyson Group Health Plan who are raising children with learning or behavior challenges. An adoption policy, which also includes surrogacy time, was implemented in January of 2019 and increased paid leave time from five days to four weeks. We also added three additional days of paid paternity leave, coverage for certain fertility expenses through Progyny and coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for Autism Spectrum Disorder. With these changes, premiums increased by 5 percent for all team members. Over the past few years, we have also increased efforts to engage team members and their covered dependents to improve their health and well-being. We are trying to address this issue creatively with the services and support programs we provide, including: telemedicine; biometric screenings; postcards from vendors outlining health and well-being programs; outreach from third-party administrators regarding programs and how to reduce ER services; and other segmented communication efforts.

Team Member Benefits
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Team Members Eligible for Benefit by Employment Status
Temporary Part-Time Full-Time Hourly Full-Time & Non-Exempt Management Full-Time Salaried Full-Time Management Support
Company paid accidental death and dismemberment plan
Company paid life insurance
Bereavement pay, paid sick days, jury duty pay and military pay*
Chaplaincy program
Educational assistance program (employees only)
Flexible spending accounts (e.g., health care and child care)
Free diabetic test strips through mail order
Free medical expert opinion program
Free weight management program
Free online health risk assessment and wellness portal
Free pregnancy support program
Full-service credit union
Long-term care insurance
Medical, dental, vision and prescription medication coverage
Merchant discount/computer purchase program
Non-tobacco use premium incentive and free tobacco cessation program
Paid maternity leave
Product discounts through company-owned stores
Retirement savings plan (401k)
Short-term (company paid) and long-term disability*
Long-term incentives (LTI) (only offered to salaried team members at certain grade levels)
Stock purchase plan
Vacation days and paid holidays**
Voluntary accidental death and dismemberment plan
Voluntary life insurance plan
Voluntary critical illness, accident and whole life coverage
$0 generics for certain maintenance medications

* Unless required by law, as negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement, or as specified in pre-existing company policy, hourly workers do not receive paid sick days. However, the company does pay short-term disability for up to 13 weeks (after a five-day waiting period) and also offers long-term disability coverage at a competitive group rate. It provides 60 percent of their earnings tax free for up to 10 years.

** We do offer paid vacation time, pay for recognized holidays and sick pay in locations where required by law. Additionally, we are currently testing various delivery systems for paid time off such as taking vacation time in increments less than the traditional day at a time. We believe our investment in Upward Academy and addressing financial literacy gaps with our workforce will better enable our team members to understand and manage a paid time off system in a manner that ensures wage protection.